Bodhran Tippers Of The World-Part 5

by MichelleStewart on June 3, 2013

Wow, just when you think you’ve seen it all even more cool bodhran tipper collections keep pouring in from around the world. Thanks to everyone who has taken part in this fun project.


I highly recommend clicking on the pictures for a great close-up view and a better appreciation of the collections.

Drum On!
~ Michelle

California, USA

Kerry Osborne’s Collection

Left to Right:
  • JJ Speed Beater Change-Up Pair from Brian’s Bodhran Beaters: lighter tipper – Purple Heart, heavier tipper – Katalox (Mexican Ebony)
  • Homemade bundle tippers using hardwood, duct tape/electrical tape, and 0-rings
  • Meinl FDT5 knotted end tipper (Ash) – leather knots untied and cut into fringe
  • Leather-ended tipper with rubber-band grip (eBay)
  • My best-loved, default tipper, hand crafted and signed by BEPM classmate Glenn Stout, from a Black Cherry tree in Vermont (double o-ring grip)
Above, Left to Right:
  • Brush tipper (eBay)
  • Brush tipper #4 from Art Bodhran (Christian Hedwitschak)
  • Tipper purchased from BEPM classmate Valerie Turner at Gaelic College, 2012
  • Brian’s Claddagh Ring (Maple) from Brian’s Bodhran Beaters
  • “Dynamic” split stick with Beech center (Makassar) from Art Bodhran (Christian Hedwitschak)
  • Hardwood tipper that came with my first bodhran (a used Malachy Kearns on eBay)
  • That one elusive tipper everyone has of unknown origin
  • Meinl – FDT2 (Ash)
  • Meinl – FDT3 (Ash)
  • John McPrange tipper with brass rod insert
  • Pink Ivory – Falconwood Tippers
  • “Fish Tipper” – handcrafted hollow wooden fish with seeds inside, used as a rattling tipper (hold the tail, strike with the head)
  • Two honey dippers sent by BEPM classmate Joe Glynn as a challenge, in response to the “Fish Tipper”
Kerry Osborne
California, USA

Ontario, Canada

Art Solomonian’s Collection
Here are most of my tippers – the ones I use from time to time. There are more!!
Kerry sticks
1. Jim Hunter # 235 – Ottawa
2. Custom Blackwood – A&J Turners (My friends in Almonte Ont)
3. A&J copied this from a cheapy I bought along the way
Hybrid sticks
4. This one started life as a spurtle. I removed the top section to bring it to size. My favourite
5 & 6. Two more A&J custom pieces
Top-down sticks
7. End of a fiddle bow
8. End of a cello bow – don’t worry, they were both broken before I got them
9. Custom Blackwood rod by A&J
10. Ebay purchase. Split at one end
Bamboo collection
11-14. Four hand-made bundles of BBQ skewers of different lengths and weights. The fourth one has a shorter stick in the middle so the end is hollow
15. Paul McAuley Irish Bodhrans. I got this from him on my first trip to Ireland
16 & 17. Both barrels are A&J. The Blackwood has a fiber bristle, the lighter one is a soft paint brush (good only when plugged in)
The Specialties
18. Padded heavy beater when I want that Lambeg sound (perfectly justified as I play a Seamus O’Kane with a Lambeg head)
19. To be used in case of emergency
20 & 21. The T-Shaped key was turned by A&J and the bulb-shaped one is by Paul at Irishbodhrans.
My Custom Tipper Holder (below)
Art Solomonian
Almonte, Ontario, Canada (Home of Almonte Celtfest)

Oregon , USA

Sandi O’Regan’s Collection
Wow! There are some VERY interesting Tippers here. Thank you for sharing. Makes my collection seem sparse by comparison, as I just started learning to play my wonderful Bodhran just 3 weeks ago!Here is my little collection, all made of Rosewood ~ (top to bottom) 
  • Knob Tipper, Sloped ( I use this one the most. It is a bit heftier which I prefer.)
  • Tipper that came with my Bodhran
  • Knob Tipper with Off-Center Double Ridge
Thank you for all your help with video lessons and the informational emails.
Best wishes!
Sandi O’Regan (formerly Olsabeck)
Rhododendron, Oregon , USA

Connecticut, USA

Joe Glynn

Below is a list of the tippers & their makers I have quite thankfully come to know & enjoy (& which make amazing gifts as well) … and a few pics (above) … ones from the car wash as well … and also the honey dippers (for me all good things seem to come from the Kitchen (spurtles) & the Women who have influenced my life’s journey) … as well as my fingers … and anything else I can adapt … once used a pen & small  paper plate … while in a pub close to & listening to some trad musicians minus a bodhran … felt the need … lol!  ~ Joe

  • Ralf Siepmann – jazz rods
  • Neil Lyons tipper
  • Falconwood (Gordon Falconer)
  • Jacob McCauley: two snakewood tippers
  • Colm Phelan: snakewood
  • Robbie Walsh: macassar ebony
  • African Blackwood straight
  • Pink Ivory straight
  • Los cabos tipper -GBS – Sean Mcann
These tippers: came with a used Del Eckels drum I was fortunate to get to know (son has it now): 
  • 10 1/2″ single ended, Top End style tipper made from ebony 
  • 9″ double ended “E-Notch” style tipper made from Lemon Wood by Ken Larson
  • 8″ long double ended tipper made from a wooden dowel with padded leather ends.
  • Emery Hutchins, Maine : snakewood; ebony
  • several made by Brian Letourneau (Brian’s Bodhran Beaters)
  • a few from other cipin makers here stateside …
Joe Glynn

Connectictut, USA

Arizona, USA

Gale Leach’s Collection
I never sent the tippers before because I only have two and they’re not that special … although they’re special to me.
Gale Leach,
Arizona, USA

Florida, USA

Jim Hull’s Collection
I have made my own tippers as follows:

Left to Right:

  1. Bamboo Rod Brush: 9” x 9/16” dia., 24 gr.; flat end; made from 19 small diameter skewers bristles.
  2. Bamboo Rod Brush: 9 1/4” x 5/8” dia.; 30 gr.; round end, made from 19 medium diameter skewer bristles.
  3. Ting Ting Tipper Brush: 9 1/4” x 1/2″ dia.; 24 gr.; made from floral Ting Ting bristles.
  4. Split Bamboo Brush: 9 3/4” x 5/8” dia.; 37 gr.; made from finely spit bamboo bristles.
  5. Nylon Brush: 9 3/4” x 1/2” dia.; 29 gr.; made from .094 plastic bristles.
  6. Nylon Waltz Brush (Boom-Chee-Chee): 10 1/4” x 1/2” dia.; 37 gr.; similar to #5 with 1 1/4” medium felt ball on top end.
  7. Felt Ball Tipper: 9” x 3/8” shaft with center bead; 34 gr.; 1” medium felt balls; rosewood.
  8. Teardrop Tipper: 9” x 3/8” shaft with center bead; 1/2” ends; 28 gr.; rosewood; my standard most used tipper.
  9. Teardrop Tipper: Same as #8 but in ebony; 24 gr. (unwrapped).
  10. Heavy Teardrop Tipper: 8 3/4” x 3/8” Center shaft with center bead; 5/8” ends; 32 gr.; rosewood.
  11. Trumpet Tipper: 9” x 3/8” shaft with center bead; 9/16” ends; 24 gr.; ebony.
  12. Teardrop Tipper: 9” x 3/8” shaft with two beads 3” apart; adjustable o-ring at center; 1/2” at ends; 25 gr.; ebony.
  13. Lightweight Combined Style Teardrop Tipper: 9” x 1/4” shaft with adjustable o-ring; 7/16” ends; 13 gr.; IPA.
  14. Combined Style Teardrop Tipper: 10 ¼” x 3/8” shaft with adjustable o-ring; 1/2” ends; 18gr.; ebony.
I use “Ahead Grip Tape” drum stick tape for taping my tippers. Wrapping adds approximately 2 gr. to tipper weight.

I also have a few Christian Hedwitschak top end style tippers; excellent, excellent,  tippers. Above, left to right:

  1. N-EF 4: Original Mexican Fiber Brush Tipper; 23 cm long plus brush; 20 gr.; ebony. Neat sound. Love playing it.
  2. N-EF 8: Split end tipper with built-in beach center;  24 cm long; 18 gr.; ebony.
  3. ME-A:  Single ended and combined syle tipper; 26 cm long; 9.5mm at tip, 7 mm smallest to 14 mm; 190 gr.; ebony.
  4. ME 12: “Tear drop head” 25.5 cm long; 16 gr.; ebony.
  5. SW 3: “Topend and Trad/Kerry Style” tipper; 23.8 cm long; 17 gr.; Snakewood.
  6. SW 6: “Topend and Trad/Kerry style” and “combined style” tipper; 24 cm long; 20 gr.; Snakewood.


  1. Bones: 5 ¾” long;  made from dog chews from local grocery.
  2. Wooden Spoons: Made by a friend of mine, Bill Bear; Chinaberry wood.
  3. Kick Stick: 10 3/4” long; 1 1/4” dia.; 83 gr.; I turned from hollow bamboo.
  4. Sound Pipe: 10” long; 1 1/2″ dia.; made from chrome drain pipe.
  5. Rawhide Egg Shakers: made by NINO.
  6. Wood Cylinder Shakers: 4 1/4” long; 1 5/8” dia.; made by Rhythm Fusion.
  7. Various wire and nylon drum stick brushes (not shown).
  8. The Laptop by Rhythm Tech. Play like a Bodhran or a snare drum.
  9. I use Blue Heron Bodhran carrying cases


  1. Main drum I play is an Eckermann 39 cm x 10cm, tunable double goatskin.
  2. The second most played drum is an Eckermann 42 cm x 10 cm, tunable double goatskin, tuned lower than the first for contrast between songs.
  3. I also have an Eckermann 35 cm x 10 cm, tunable double goatskin.
  4. And I also have an Eckermann 45 cm x 10 cm, tunable single goatskin.

(Note: All 4 Eckermann bodhrans “nest” inside each other in one case).

  1. Albert Alfonso 16” x 4 3/4″, tunable single goatskin.
  2. Brendon White 18” x 6”, tunable double goat skin.
  3. My First Bodhran, like you, was an 18” x 3 ½” non-tunable Pakistan type frame drum. (hole by grandson).



I play, Traditional Irish – Plus, regularly with Chris Morgan and Darin Graves around Central Florida.

Nevada, USA

Kathryn Oxoby’s Collection

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada

Alma Donovan’s Collection

West Virginia, USA

Tracy Seffers Collection

I have a small collection, but well-loved: (top to bottom)

  • Ebony top-end tipper by Albert Alfonso. I haven’t learned top-end playing (yet), but still use this in certain settings for a nice crisp attack and pop that cuts through lots of instruments.
  • This is the generic tipper that came with my first Walton bodhran–modified since purchase, as you can see, to be quite fancy. I cut the toes from a pair of my husband’s white socks, and bound them down with a couple of rubber bands from the Sunday Washington Post. Surprisingly, it was a very effective change, and brought out a beautiful bass I never expected! I have worn the decal almost off the drum with this one–that’s the dark green stripe around the ball.
  • I found this in a fabulous DC music and instrument store, the House of Musical Traditions. It was beautifully balanced and heavy in the hand–this is one that got me my first triplets! The extra weight just pulled the top end over like magic. Boom! Has a nice solid strike against the skin.
Thanks for being such a great teacher and encourager!
Tracy Seffers
Charles Town, West Virginia, USA

Hampshire, England

Pete De Courcy

Of this lot my favourites have to be the snakewoods for top-end and largely replace the weighted rosewood in the centre of the shot. The home made bbq skewers come a close second. The small brush fills in on our waltz sets beautifully and the leather covered tippers certainly add something to a LOUD Irish session.

Keep up the good work.
Peter de Courcy
Hampshire, England

London, Ontario, Canada

James McDonald’s Collection
I have an 18″ Waltons Bodhrán.
Left to right:
  • Waltons Bodhrán cream
  • Waltons tipper (came with bodhrán)
  • Los Cabos tipper
  • Two hand made brushes – hollow brush made of bamboo around a short pine core
  • Bamboo top end brush
  • Bodhrán stand (my wife, Chris, made this, the tipper roll, my bodhrán bag and a patch for it)
James McDonald
London, Ontario, Canada

Click Here To view Part 1 of the Bodhran Tippers Of The World Collection

Click Here To view Part 2

Click Here To view Part 3

Click Here To view Part 4


If you have any of the tippers featured in the collections or want to share insight that might be useful to your fellow drummers please leave a comment below.


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